GLOBAL – No camera lens can ever fully replicate the complexity of the human eye. People can see more colours, move rapidly in and out of focus, and adapt to wildly different light conditions. But smartphone cameras – like the one on the new Nokia Lumia 900 – are getting more sophisticated. And by using them, you can get closer to taking pictures that more closely resemble what the eye actually sees.
Unless you’re a Hollywood director who can demand perfect shots at dawn and dusk – or you’re only taking holiday snaps on the beach on a sunny day – most of us have to contend with taking photos in low light.
If you want to avoid using the flash, to get a more naturally-lit shot, you can turn on all the extra light sources you can find. But unless you have a wide aperture option or low f-stop number, you are unlikely to achieve good natural light effects. The aperture is like the pupil in your eye and controls the amount of light that comes though the lens and hits the sensor behind it.
The Nokia Lumia 900 comes fitted with a Carl Zeiss lens with a large f2.2 aperture and wide-angle focal length (28mm) which allows higher-quality images, even in low-light. It’s also got a front-facing camera with a large aperture and wide-angle lens for good-quality video calling.
The lower the number of the f-stop aperture setting, the more light is allowed in. So, with an aperture of f2.2, your lens will let in the equivalent of a good DSLR camera lens.
The other benefit of a large f2.2 aperture is that it allows you to get a more cinematic look by taking photos with a sharp subject and blurry background. On most pictures you see, the subjects in foreground and background, throughout the depth of field, are in focus.
But the large aperture allows you to control which part of the picture stays in focus, blurring other parts in front of it or behind it.
For example, by manually controlling the aperture, using the maximum f2.2, you should be able to achieve the effect in this picture of the leaves.
An aperture setting of f2.2 means that you will have a shallower depth of field, with objects closer up seeming in sharp focus while background objects seem more blurred. A nicely blurred background looks great for portraits too.